November 2021 Spotlight: Cristina Baggio

#YCproud of our Staff: Cristina Baggio

Story by Veronica A. Catlin, vcatlin@yccd.edu 

Cristina Baggio didn’t know what she was in for when she packed up and left everything she knew in New York to attend school at Yuba College. Unbeknownst to her, one leap of faith would lead her to live out her dreams.

“I was recruited to Yuba College to play soccer in 2008,” Baggio said. “I come from a strict Italian family. My dad wanted me to stay in New York, but my mom knew I could handle it.”

Baggio said her first year was a challenge. She was 18 years old and far away from home for the first time. She had support from her on-campus roommates and she said being on the soccer team was like having 18 best friends, but she still missed home. The academic responsibility along with being an athlete was also a lot to manage.  There were times Baggio said she wanted to quit and said she would sit in her EOPS mentor’s, Silvia Gonzalez, office to contemplate leaving.

“I told her there was no way she was giving up. There were some obstacles, but Cristina had what it took to achieve her goals,” Gonzalez said. “She was a great soccer player and was really passionate on the field. She saw herself doing exactly what she’s doing now.”
Baggio endured and went on to study Physical Education at Chico State, University of Hawaii, and Sacramento State College. She earned a Master’s in PE and shortly afterward landed an assistant coaching position at Chico State. In the spring of 2019, she transferred to Yuba College where she accepted the women’s soccer head coach position. One of Baggio’s lifelong goals was to be a head soccer coach.

‘I’ve been passionate about soccer since a young age. I love the culture of soccer,” Baggio said. “On the field is where I learned the value of competition and discipline. The dynamic that you create in soccer, or any sports team, is like no other. The lessons learned played a huge part in the positive development of my life and I love passing those lessons on to my girls.”

Baggio built a home and career in the Yuba-Sutter area, and it started with the decision to attend Yuba College. She said everything happens for a reason and she feels like it was meant for her to relocate to the west coast. She is thankful for the friends she made who became family. Baggio would one day like to return to New York and build a life there as well but so far, she is grateful for the path life has sent her down.